Cisco's CFO Goes Out With A Bang As Earnings Beat Estimates

By Steve Anderson November 13, 2014

It was a strange day for Cisco, as the company both brought out its first quarter 2015 fiscal year earnings report and bid farewell to its chief financial officer (CFO) Frank Calderoni - all on the same day. Though Calderoni will be sticking around until January 1, he will be leaving on something of a high note, as Cisco reported that its earnings managed to beat Wall Street estimates for the quarter.

While the Cisco earnings report delivered the report many expected, with quarterly sales comparatively flat against the previous quarter, there was the high point that earnings per share managed to beat the street. Cisco's report noted that the company brought in $12.2 billion for the first quarter of 2015, which was up 1.3 percent on the same time last year, and actually beat the analyst consensus of $12.16 billion. While the revenue figure was mostly expected—even the company was saying back in August that its earnings would be flat, or at the most increase just one percent—it was still noteworthy to beat the analyst consensus.

Meanwhile, other figures from the report showed net income down 8.4 percent from the previous year at $1.8 billion, and meant that Cisco's per-share earnings came in at $0.35 a share. Throwing in one-time items, the per-share figure went to $0.54 per share, which was once again above estimates that pegged the per-share price at $0.53 per share.

John Chambers, chief at Cisco, pointed out that the numbers showed some real strength for the company, representing what Chambers described as Cisco's “...strongest first quarter ever in terms of revenue, non-GAAP operating income and non-GAAP EPS.” Though Chambers acknowledged the difficulties presented by the market, he pointed to Cisco's broadening focus as a significant plus, focusing on delivering a digitized future to businesses, cities, governments and schools.

Meanwhile, Calderoni's stepping down won't leave much of a power vacuum in the company, as a new CFO has already been selected in Kelly Kramer, currently the company's senior vice president of business technology and operations finance. The markets, meanwhile, didn't take the news very well, with Cisco stock reportedly down 0.16 percent after Wednesday trading, and continuing on a downward slope to lose 1.35 percent. However, in year-to-year figures, the stock price has gained 11.95 percent, so there are some positives to consider.

Indeed, while there are some signs of a recovery for the economy, there are still some clear points that are rougher than the ordinary, and Cisco is likely seeing these points firsthand. But Cisco's clear focus on broadening its overall market is a point that has value of its own; after all, this company clearly understands that it needs to go beyond the business to have the best chances of success, and Cisco's work in developing smart city technology, as well as its work in fields like the Internet of Things (IoT) should prove to help bolster the company's earnings as it carries on. Plus, considering the number of things Cisco shows up in, like SYNNEX's Agile Infrastructure (AI) system, there's plenty of room for future sales.

Cisco may have a bit of work cut out for it, but clearly the company has gone to with a will, working in both the current generation and the next generation of technological advancements alike. A new CFO may add some new perspective, and given how much of Cisco's work these days is new, that could be a greater help than some may think.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

Contributing TechZone360 Writer

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